No, Those Viral Videos Don’t Prove That the Capitol Rioters Are Being Added to the No-Fly List
Democrats are urging the federal government to do everything in its power to prevent people present at Wednesday’s riot on Capitol Hill from ever boarding a plane again, including adding their names to the FBI’s infamous no-fly list. A number of misleading viral videos on social media have meanwhile given the impression that this crackdown on participants in last week’s “Stop the Steal” rally-turned-riot is well underway.
On Monday, Reps. Peter DeFazio (D–Ore.) and Rick Larsen (D–Wash.)—both members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure—penned a letter urging Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) head Stephen Dickson to use whatever powers he has to “detect instances in which those connected with last Wednesday’s attack or their sympathizers may attempt to travel by air again to Washington, D.C.” and to “prevent seditionists from jeopardizing aviation safety if they do board aircraft.”
That would include slapping passengers who interfere with flight attendants with the maximum allowable $35,000 in civil fines and potentially referring these unruly flyers to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution, their letter reads.
DeFazio and Larsen also asked Dickson to work with airlines to “limit the chance that the Nation’s commercial airline system could be used as a means of mass transportation to Washington, D.C., for further violence in connection with the inauguration.”
Their letter comes just a few days after Rep. Bennie Thompson (D–Miss.) issued a statement demanding that the FBI and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) add anyone who’d even entered the Capitol building during Wednesday’s riot to the no-fly list.
“I am urging the [TSA] and the [FBI] to use their authorities to add the names of all identified individuals involved in the attack to the federal No-Fly List and keep them off planes,” said Thompson, who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, in a press release. “This should include all individuals identified as having entered the Capitol building—an intrusion which threatened the safety of Members of Congress and staff and served as an attack on our Nation.”
On the very day of the riot, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) similarly demanded that protesters who were present at the Capitol be barred from flying.
“Some of the people who traveled in our planes yesterday participated in the insurrection at the Capitol today,” said AFA President Sara Nelson. “Acts against our democracy, our government, and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight.”
Viral videos on social media meanwhile purport to show Trump supporters being booted from flights or prevented from boarding because of their participation in Wednesday’s riot. Often these videos are accompanied by captions saying those being k
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